Thirteen new envoys representing different countries to Rwanda yesterday presented their credentials to President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro, pledging to further enhance cooperation between their countries and Rwanda.
The new envoys accredited to Rwanda are Krzysztof Buzalski of Poland, Cherdkiat Atthakir of Thailand, Mark Raphael Ramsden of New Zealand, Lisa Stadelbauer of Canada, Nguyen Kim Doanh of Vietnam and Burcu Cevik of Turkey.
Amb. Burcu Çevik of Turkey.
Others are Francisca Ashietey Odunton of Ghana, Abdullah Fahd Ali Alkahtani of Saudi Arabia, Helena Maria Rodrigues Fernandes Malcata of Portugal, Monica Patricio Clementee Mussa of Mozambique, Eric Franck Michel Saizonou of Benin, Ron Adam of Israel and Weerawardena Sunil Dharmasena Sunil De Silva of Sri Lanka.
Amb. Krzysztof Buzalski of Poland.
Amb. Cherdkiat Atthakor of Thailand.
The ambassadors of Turkey and Israel will be based in Rwanda, while those of Thailand, Canada, Ghana and Sri Lanka, will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.
On the other hand, those of Poland, Vietnam, and Mozambique will be residing in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. New Zealand and Portugal ambassadors will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while Saudi Arabia and Benin’s envoys will have their residence in Kampala and Pretoria, respectively.
Amb. Mark Raphael Ramsden of New Zealand.
Amb. Lisa Stadelbauer of Canada.
“We have three issues that I will start with, handling the relations here. First of all, there is an issue of smart agriculture, which I am very excited to contribute to the country and cooperate. Then there is the ICT issue; cyber security and the innovation, bringing here the ecosystem that we have in Israel to develop startups,” Ron Adam, Israel’s first ambassador resident in Rwanda told the press.
Amb. Nguyen Kim Doanh of Vietnam.
Adam added that they also want to focus on promoting tourism and other strategic economic sectors.
“We have the last urgent issue which is tourism, because we are opening direct flights soon. We will have a lot of Israelis coming here. In addition to that we have a lot of challenges in education. We would like to bring here some ideas and health and medicine,” he noted.
Amb. Francisca Ashietey Odunton of Ghana.
The national carrier RwandAir announced last month that it will start flights to Israeli capital Tel Aviv, as part of its growing destinations. It is not yet clear when this would happen, although the two countries already entered a bilateral air service agreement.
Amb. Abdullah Fahd Ali Alkahtani of Saudi Arabia.
The plan to open an embassy by Israel was first made public in 2017 by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the final decision was communicated on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. In 2017, PM Netanyahu had held a state visit to Rwanda.
Israel has been a strategic partner to Rwanda in agriculture with the country supporting Rwandans, especially in areas of human resource development. There are quite a number of Israel firms operating in Rwanda, including Motorola whose regional office is based in Rwanda.
Amb. Helena Maria Rodrigues Fernandes Malcata of Portugal.
On the other hand, the Turkish ambassador to Rwanda, Burcu Cevik, indicated that she was looking forward to prioritising trade between the two countries.
“My priority here will be definitely to have closer relations between the two countries. Of course trade and economic relations constitute a very big chapter in our relations. Turkish businesses are already here and I will do my best to increase their presence, increase their investments,” she said.
Amb. Mónica Patrício Clemente Mussa of Mozambique.
Cevik added that she was keen on raising the momentum of Turkish investments in Rwanda’s production capacity.
Mozambican and Ghanaian envoys come following the heads of states’ separate visits to Rwanda last year.
Amb. Eric Franck Michel Saizonou of Benin.
“Rwanda and Ghana have been exchanging visits in various fields, and currently, Rwanda exports pyrethrum to Ghana. My aim is to increase the tonnage from 15 tons now to 50 tons by the end of the year,” Francisca Ashietey Odunton said.
Amb. Weerawardena Sunil Dharmasena De Silva of Sri Lanka.
As Rwanda plans to kick start flights to New York, Ghana and Rwanda are in discussions for the former’s capital Accra to become a transit point for RwandAir, the new Ghanaian ambassador said she will work to make sure this becomes a reality.